Foreign Minister Reads Wrong Speech at U.N.S

Poor Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna! He gave a speech to the U.N. on Saturday about poverty and social unrest—only it was actually the Portuguese Foreign Minister's speech. Luis Amado, Portugal's Foreign Minister, had spoken before Krishna but ditched the prepared remarks; Krishna, apparently, picked up one of the circulated copies of Amado's speech and, not paying very much attention, dove right in, at one point noting his "satisfaction regarding the happy coincidence of having two members of the Portuguese speaking countries addressing the 15-nation council."

In fact, no one really seemed to pick up on the mistake until Krishna started to talk about coordinating between the European Union and the United Nations—at which point the Indian ambassador to the U.N. had to go tell Krishna what was wrong. It's embarrassing, sure, but as Foreign Policy's Colum Lynch points out,

it is often tough to tell the difference between the standard speeches delivered before the U.N. Security Council. The Portuguese statement sounded off familiar themes that could have been read by virtually any delegation. For instance, it noted that it "is impossible to implement effective poverty reduction strategies" in a place wracked by political chaos and violence. It underscored the importance of meeting the Millennium Development Goals — a series of internationally accepted health and poverty benchmarks aimed at eliminating poverty — in order to spur economic development in the Third World.

And, come on, who wouldn't be psyched by having two Portuguese-speaking countries address the U.N. Council?

[Foreign Policy]